Elvis Presley's Granddaughter Is All Grown Up

It's been a long time since Elvis Presley wriggled his hips and shook the world. From the mid-1950s until his death in 1977, the man they called "the King of Rock n' Roll" was the subject of endless fascination for millions. He popularized rock n' roll for the masses while also serving as an unabashed sex symbol in a much more conservative era of popular culture. He drawled his way through classics from "Hound Dog" to "Jailhouse Rock" to "Suspicious Minds" and starred in cheesy movies and performed for countless masses. 

Men wanted to be him, and women wanted him, but he only settled down with one lady, Priscilla Wagner, and together they had just one child, Lisa Marie Presley. The legend of Elvis has cast a huge shadow on the younger Presley's life, as it has on her daughter, model and actress Riley Keough. No matter your opinion on Elvis, it's time to get to know this rising star.

The King of Pop married the King's daughter (and Riley Keough's mom)

Riley Keough isn't a musician, but she is a musical princess: She's one of the few people with a connection to both "The King of Rock n' Roll," Elvis Presley (he was her grandfather) and the "King of Pop," Michael Jackson, who married Keough's mother, Lisa Marie Presley, in 1994. "People always ask, 'How crazy is it that your grandpa was Elvis and your stepdad was Michael Jackson?' I make them happy and say, 'Yeah, it's sooooo crazy!" But actually, I don't think about it, ever," Keough told Esquire"The reality is I know as much about my grandpa as you'd know about a grandpa you never met." Indeed, death would preclude Keough from ever weighing in about the King: He died in 1977, long before his granddaughter's May 1989 birth.

But she did meet Jackson — she was four years old when her mom married the moonwalker. "I loved him," she told the The New York Times Style MagazineShe often visited his Neverland Ranch, too. "There were toys everywhere, animals everywhere, kids everywhere. It was like being at Disneyland all day." But alas, it didn't last: Lisa Marie Presley filed for divorce in early 1996, but in 2002 married yet another quirky celebrity: Nicolas Cage. That union lasted a mere 108 days, which Keough chalks up to her mother being "a tough b***h."

Riley Keough's a model, you know what we mean?

Riley Keough was blessed with some excellent genetics: Her grandparents are Elvis Presley, the hottest dude in the world in the 1950s, and lovely actress Priscilla Presley. Her parents are Lisa Marie Presley and musician Danny Keough, neither of whom could be described as conventionally ugly. That DNA stew resulted in Riley Keough, deemed beautiful and charismatic enough to start modelingat the age of just 14, according to The New York Times. She signed with the powerful IMG Modelsfirm, and before long, she was a runway and print model in demand, trying on expensive outfits and looking professionally good in them for clients like Christian DiorDolce & Gabbana, and Victoria's Secret

Modeling is good work if you can get it, so Keough still books the occasional gig when she can find time in her acting career. Since 2017, she's posed for three separate Louis Vuitton campaigns and appeared in pictorials for Mastermind, Elle, V, and Marie Claire.

Riley Keough was a ... runaway hit on her first audition

Riley Keough's first movie was the 2010 biopic The Runaways, about the rise and brief existence of the prefabricated late 1970s all-female rock band of the same name. The action is told primarily through the points of view of members Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning). Keough played the twin sister of one of those two people, but oddly enough, it wasn't Stewart, to whom she bears a strong resemblance. No, Keough portrayed Marie Currie (not to be confused with Nobel Prize-winning scientist Marie Curie). 

Amazingly, Keough locked down the part of a rock star's left behind sister after just a single audition, which also happened to be her first audition ever. "I think it's good I didn't play a musician because then it wouldn't look like it was a coincidence," Keough, granddaughter of Elvis Presley, told WWD.That bit of beginner's luck led to a few more roles, like the female lead in the Orlando Bloom vehicle The Good Doctor, and a part in Magic Mike, directed by Steven Soderbergh, with whom she'd continue to collaborate.

Hitting the 'road' got Riley Keough's career back on track

After The Runaways and Magic Mike, Riley Keough admits that she kind of went on a roll acquiring roles. "I had a little lucky streak for a minute, booked another movie. Booked another movie. Booked another movie," she told Esquire in 2016. "Then you get beaten up a little bit. Everything crashes." Indeed it did: While Magic Mike blew up the career of star Channing Tatum, and kicked off the "McConau-sssance" for Matthew McConaughey, Keough couldn't find high profile work for a couple of years. 

In 2013 and 2014, she acted almost entirely in short films that few people saw. She got back on track with 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road. She portrayed Capable, one of the prisoner-wives of the fearsome Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). George Miller's masterful, heavy-metal thrill ride surprisingly earned 10 Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture) and was Keough's biggest movie to that time ... leven if she is kind of hard to spot in it. Between all the flying motorcycles, flaming guitars, and sand everywhere all the time, she's easy to miss.

The Soderbergh experience

In 2009, Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh made an audacious psychosexual drama called The Girlfriend Experience. Adult film star Sasha Grey starred as a high-end prostitute who specialized in providing "the girlfriend experience," or faked relationships with wealthy clients. This sex-filled and thematically challenging series improbably inspired a TV series of the same name in 2015. Soderbergh served as executive producer, but one of his Magic Mike cast members landed the lead role: Riley Keough played Christine, a mysterious, self-employed, and highly ambitious call girl working with big-time financial players in New York City. 

While the drama certainly had its share of "MA" content, The Girlfriend Experience evolved into a satirical takedown of the post-bailout American financial system. Keough often bared it all while delivering an intense and often inscrutable performance of her complicated character. She earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, and earned high praise from critics. Slate noted her "eerie charisma," while IndieWire found her performance "captivating."

The Wife experience

Fame is in her blood, and Riley Keough unsurprisingly has had a few high-profile relationships with famous (or at least semi-famous) guys. In 2006, she got together with pop-rocker Ryan Cabrera, best known for the hit "On the Way Down," and dating Ashlee Simpson. When they first coupled, he was 24, and she was only 17. That romance fizzled out, but the pair briefly rekindled things in 2012 — according to Radar OnlineKeough rebounded with Cabrera after her breakup with actor Alex Pettyfer, her Magic Mike co-star to whom she was ever so briefly engaged, according to Us Weekly.

But neither of those relationships were apparently meant to be, because Keough announced her engagement in 2014 to stuntman Ben Smith-Petersen. The pair worked on Mad Max: Fury Road, and made it official on February 4, 2015 in a Napa, California, ceremony before fellow celebs like Zoe Kravitz, Dakota Johnson, Kristen Stewart, and Cara Delevingne.

A juicy indie role showcased Riley Keough's acting chops

The Girlfriend Experience served as Riley Keough's first major leading role, proving that the celebrity spawn and model had the acting chops to make it in Hollywood. From there, she moved into much bigger roles in buzzy films. In late 2016, Keough starred in the acclaimed indie road movie American Honey. She finally got a chance to cut loose on-screen, giving what Variety called a "splendid" performance as Krystal, "a spray-tanned devil in a Confederate-flag bikini," and leader of a traveling magazine subscription sales racket who helps out a teenage runaway. 

The film rocked the 2016 festival circuit and won a slew of critical accolades, including a BAFTA Film Award nomination for Outstanding British Film and Best Ensemble from the Florida Film Critics Circle Awards. Keough herself was nominated for Supporting Actress of the Year at the London Critics Film Circle Awards and earned a Best Supporting Female nod from the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Riley Keough got Lucky

Throughout film history there have been a handful of close filmmaker/actor pairs that virtually guarantee a good final product. You've got your Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks (Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me if You Can, Bridge of Spies), Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio (Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Wolf of Wall Street), and possibly Steven Soderbergh and Riley Keough. After working together on Magic Mike and The Girlfriend Experience, the duo reunited for the 2017 heist comedy Logan Lucky. 

Soderbergh actually un-retired to direct the film, about the Logan family's plot to rob a major NASCAR venue. Keough played Mellie Logan, a hairdresser turned robbery assistant. Logan Lucky earned a stellar 91 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a decent $48.45 million at the worldwide box office, proving that Keough can help carry a major movie, as well as hold her own with strong co-stars like Channing Tatum and Adam Driver.

Welcome to Riverdale, Riley Keough

Along with an increasingly busy film career with big roles in projects from major directors, Riley Keough has put in a couple of memorable performances on the small screen. In 2018, she co-starred in Paterno, Barry Levinson's made-for-HBO movie about longtime Penn State football coach Joe Paterno (Al Pacino), and how it all came crashing down after a scandal involving his assistant coach. Keough took on the role of Sarah Ganim, the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper reporter who broke the story in 2011.

In late 2018, Keough popped up in a show on the opposite side of the TV spectrum: the CW's Archie Comics-based teen soap Riverdale. She portrayed Laurie Lake, a not-totally-who-she-seems farmer who provides an on-the-lam Archie (K.J. Apa) meals, a place to sleep, and other things a red-blooded American teenage boy needs (open-mouthed kissing). It's a role for which Keough publicly campaigned. On March 6, 2018, she tweeted, "I just want to be cast in Riverdale." Six months later, the CW announced that she'd been cast as Laurie.

Elvis has other grandkids

Riley Keough gets a lot of ink for being "Elvis Presley's granddaughter," but she's not the only "Grandkid of Rock n' Roll," so to speak. She's probably garnered all that attention because she's the King's first grandchild (and being photogenic certainly doesn't hurt). With his wife, the former Priscilla Wagner, Elvis fathered just one daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, born in 1968. The younger Presley has been married four times, most famously to Michael Jackson and Nicolas Cage, but the unions that spawned kids were her first and most recent.

In 1988, Lisa Marie married musician Danny Keough. The following year, she gave birth to daughter Danielle Riley Keough, followed in 1992 by son Benjamin Keough. (Peep that photo above — Riley, second from right looks a lot like her mother, while Benjamin, far right, bears a striking resemblance to his famous grandpa.) After Lisa Marie's first divorce and brief marriages to Jackson and Cage, she married sideman and session guitarist Michael Lockwood. There must be some kind of twin gene in the Presley family — Elvis had one (Jesse; he died at birth) — and Lisa Marie had a two-for-one-delivery in 2008 with the arrival of Harper and Finley Lockwood.